Peter Ferrara

The history of America's recessions is provided at the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Before this last recession, since the Great Depression recessions in America have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously lasting 16 months. Yet here we are 47 months after the last recession started, and we still have no real recovery.

Instead, unemployment has been stuck at 9% or above for the longest period since the Great Depression. Unemployment for blacks has remained over 15% for over 2 years, with Hispanic unemployment stuck well into double digits over that time as well. Teenage unemployment has persisted at nearly 25%, with black teenage unemployment still nearly 40%.

The U6 unemployment rate, reflecting all of the unemployed still wanting work and the underemployed who can't get full time work, is still 16.2%. That includes an army of the unemployed or underemployed of over 26 million Americans. And that still doesn't fully count the millions of Americans who have given up and dropped out of the work force altogether.

On September 13 came the Census Bureau report fleshing out the full meaning of no economic recovery under Obama. Median family income has fallen all the way back to 1996 levels. The Wall Street Journal further reported on September 14, "Earnings of the typical man who works full time year round fell, and are lower--adjusted for inflation--than in 1978."

The poverty rate climbed to 15.1%, higher than in the late 1960s when the War on Poverty was getting underway, $16 trillion ago. The child poverty rate climbed to 22%, nearly a quarter of all American children. The total number of Americans in poverty is higher than at any time in the over 50 years that the Census Bureau has been tallying it. Moreover, the number of Americans ages 25-34 living with their parents has soared by 25%.

Yes, I know NBER declared the recession technically over in June, 2009, still the longest recession on record since the Depression. But the point is next month will be 4 years since the recession started, and there is still no sustained real recovery. Or as economist John Lott has emphasized, Obamanomics has produced the worst recovery since the Great Depression.

Obama apologists can't continue to blame the depths of the previous recession, and they can't because the historical record makes plain that the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery. Based on that historical record, we should be completing the second year of a booming economy by now.

Peter Ferrara

Peter Ferrara is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis and a Senior Fellow at the Heartland Institute.